Translate

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Overlooked Recipes

I put a stop to my website as of last September. I had been steadily working to add in to this blog all the recipes that had previously only been posted on the website, but inevitably, some get overlooked. I want to post three I discovered I had missed.

I have been horribly lax with working on my blog, or putting out a newsletter, or even cooking much of anything new. Why? I got into a project and it has occupied all my attention and interest for months, now. I periodically like to put together "books" with comb bindings for myself or for family. Often these are cookbooks of collected recipes for a family member, as well as being a quick reference for me. Sometimes I have dedicated myself to identifying flowers (as after a trip to California, with a slew of flowers I'd never seen before, living in the east) and making a small booklet, so I have them as a reference. I have done this with birds, using my own photos as well as photos my sisters had taken. We love birds. That book was immense, and it is in a large binder. Another was butterflies. Most often it has been recipes just because I love to cook.
Cactus Flower
Cactus Flower

The one that has occupied my time these past three months or so has been any and all plant photos taken in Arizona. I had visited AZ a fair bit in past, but really never thought to live here. But, here I am, and now I am seeing cactus plants and wondering what kind they are, or other plants in general. While some seemed very straightforward, having been labeled, others not so much. And I have spent countless hours researching online. The last in a long line of plant types are succulents, and soon I will be wrapping up this project. I still have orphan plants I cannot identify, no matter how long I search. Alas. 

So back to these missed recipes. I just found that I had omitted them yesterday, and was horrified, because they are some favorites. So, without further ado:

Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini


Serves 6
Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey Tetrazzini

6 ounces spaghetti
¼cup butter
½ cup flour
2¾ cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream or evaporated milk
¼ cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper

1 can sliced mushrooms, drained (6 oz. can)
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 small jar chopped pimiento, drained
2 cups diced cooked turkey, or chicken
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water till just barely tender; drain. In a large skillet melt butter; blend in flour. Stir in broth, whisking so no lumps form. Add cream. Cook and stir till mixture thickens and bubbles. Add the wine, salt, pepper, spaghetti, mushrooms, green pepper, pimiento and cooked turkey. Turn into a 12 x 7½ x 2" baking dish. Sprinkle top with Parmesan. Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes.

NOTES: I have on occasion tripled this recipe for a party. Divide the mixture into two 9 x 13 inch pans, and add on about 10 minutes of cooking time, or until it is bubbling all through.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This next recipe makes a great relish, or, depending on how much you love bell peppers, as a side dish. This recipe would be perfect on a charcuterie platter!

Smoky Pork BBQ Ribs


1 (3½ pound) rack pork loin ribs
Smoky Pork BBQ Ribs
Smoky Pork BBQ Ribs


6 - 8 tablespoons Sweet Smoky Cocoa Rub
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 cups mesquite wood for smoking
½ cup Sweet Tangy BBQ Sauce

Early in the day, soak the wood chips in water to cover, for at least 2 hours or more. Pat the Sweet Smoky Cocoa Rub onto both sides of the slab of pork ribs, plus 1 teaspoon of the salt per side, and allow to stand at room temperature, while the wood chips are soaking; 2 hours.

Once the wood chips have soaked long enough, cut two sheets of foil. Place half the wood chips onto each piece of foil and make a packet enclosing the wood and poke holes into the top.

At least 5 hours before you want the ribs done, start the grill, heating only one side. Once grill is ready, place the slab of ribs onto the hottest side and allow to sear well, about 10 minutes. Flip over and sear the other side for about 10 minutes. Move the ribs to the unheated side of the grill. Set one of the wood chip packets onto the hot side of the grill. Close the lid and monitor the temperature, keeping it relatively low; below 300 degrees if possible for at least 2 hours. Midway between, if the first wood chip packet has stopped smoking, place the second packet onto the hot side of the grill, to keep up the smoking. 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Once the ribs have spent at least 2 hours on the grill, prepare a sheet of foil large enough to completely enclose the slab of ribs and set it into a large baking sheet with sides. Remove the ribs from the grill and set onto the large foil sheet. Cover the top with ½ cup of Sweet Tangy BBQ Sauce and then fold the foil around the ribs, completely enclosing them. Place the baking sheet into the oven and allow to bake slowly for another 2 to 2½ hours, until completely tender.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tzatziki Sauce


Makes about 1½ cups sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce


1 cup plain Greek yogurt or 1½ cups other plain yogurt
½ cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, diced small (optional)
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced finely
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

If using a good quality Greek yogurt such as Fage brand, you may not have to drain the yogurt. If using other brands or the larger amount of just plain yogurt, set the yogurt into a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Place in the refrigerator and allow to drain for at least 1 hour or more.

If raw garlic upsets the stomach, set the minced garlic into a small bowl and just barely cover with vinegar. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes, then drain. This removes the raw taste. Add to the recipe and continue.

Discard the yogurt liquid. Place the drained yogurt into a bowl. Add the 
olive oil. vinegar, garlic, dill and salt and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning. If using cucumber, stir in. 

Note: Cucumber, while true to the recipe, will add liquid if it sets for too long, making the mixture runny. If using cucumber, it may be best to stir in just before serving. Use this tzatziki when serving Falafel or Butternut Squash Falafel


My passion is teaching people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and passing along my love and joy of food, both simple or exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me also at A Harmony of Flavors on Facebook, and Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Deliciousness with Pork Chile Verde

A very long time ago, one of my sisters sent me a recipe for a green pork "enchilada sauce." It was supposed to be something like the green canned enchilada sauce, which was never available in the eastern states. I had eaten something with that kind of sauce, so I knew I liked it. And I really, truly, meant to make the recipe. 

Somehow, as with far too many things - it just never happened.

Pork Chile Verde
Pork Chile Verde


Then, possibly within the last year, I found something that sparked my interest in that type of recipe. Again. Plus, soon after we moved to AZ, we ate at a little local Mexican restaurant and I ordered the pork chile verde over rice, and of course the ubiquitous refried pinto beans. It was delicious. I figured if I ever got around to making this, mine might be a big hit. I had the flavors all set in my head. They just never yet made it into existence.

A couple of months ago, I bought two huge pork shoulder roasts. Not sure why, as I rarely buy something that big. There are only two of us in the household, after all. But I got one out and cooked it very slowly till it all fell apart and then proceeded to clean all the meat out, tossing excess fat and bones. Once I finished with all that, I chopped the meat. Half of it, I set aside to use. The other half went in the freezer for another time. That first half was used to make Pork Barbecue for sandwiches - one of my favorite things ever.

The frozen portion I got out from the freezer the other day and decided that it was finally time for some Pork Chile Verde. I had the meat all set. I had some Tomatillo Sauce already made in the fridge (it is SO good as a dip alone, as a dip mixed with guacamole, over eggs for breakfast, and multitudes of other uses). The basic necessities were all ready. To make the sauce for the meat was a snap.

In that sense, I do advise making life easier by first having the meat all prepped ahead of time. If you don't care for taking time to make your own Tomatillo Sauce, then buy your favorite brand of a Tomatillo Salsa and use that.

Pork Chile Verde


Serves 8 or more

Pork Chile Verde
Pork Chile Verde

1 pound cooked, chopped pork shoulder roast
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 - 1½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (no stems)
12 ounces canned green chilies (three 4-ounce tins)
16 ounces Tomatillo Sauce/Salsa
4 cups beef or chicken stock, unsalted
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh leaves, minced
½ teaspoon salt, or as needed
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
-----
THICKENING
1 cup water
½ cup corn tortilla flour (Maseca, Torti-ya)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Saute the onions until they are turning golden, then add in the garlic and fresh thyme leaves and continue to saute for a few more minutes, to cook out the raw garlic taste. Add in the next 8 ingredients and then the chopped/shredded pork. Stir well and bring to boil.

In a smaller bowl or large measuring cup, stir the water and tortilla flour together until there are no lumps, then whisk in the flour briskly to leave a lump-free slurry. Pour this into the pot and stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Continue cooking over lowest heat for at least 10 more minutes. 

Serve with rice and refried beans, or over enchiladas, over omelets. Use your imagination. This is really wonderfully flavored.


My passion is teaching people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and passing along my love and joy of food, both simple or exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me also at A Harmony of Flavors on Facebook, and Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.

Monday, May 4, 2020

When Life Hands You Bananas Part 2

A couple of years ago I wrote about a banana cake in my first blog titled, "When Life Hands You Bananas." Well, once again, with some bananas that had gone way past where they were really edible, I created a recipe for Banana Nut Bran Muffins. These turned out absolutely amazing; light and fluffy, moist and tender. 
Banana Nut Bran Muffins
Banana Nut Bran Muffins

Banana nut muffins are nothing new, for sure. Every grocery store deli has them. Recipes abound. Still, I didn't go looking for recipes online, as is my wont. Instead, I wanted to create something that was midway between banana cake and banana bread. Not too heavy but not too light and not too sweet. As it happens, they were sweeter than I intended, but that was no deterrent for my husband - or for me, for that matter. They were delicious. I looked at my Banana Cake recipe, and at an old recipe for a "Banana Coffee Bread," from my (very) old "Better Homes and Gardens" binder cookbook. I opted in most cases to go in between amounts called for. The Banana Coffee Bread had very few ingredients. I also went with a streusel on top of the muffins, though this can be left out if preferred, for a less sweet version. In the end, this is what I came up with, and I am very pleased.

Banana Nut Bran Muffins


Makes 12 muffins
Banana Nut Bran Muffins
Banana Nut Bran Muffins


¾ cup mashed over-ripe bananas
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
-----
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
-----
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
-----
¾ cup sour cream

STREUSEL:
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Line a 12 well muffin tin with muffin papers or simple spray the wells with cooking spray (I sprayed the wells - no papers). Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Make the streusel by combining all the ingredients and cutting them together - or work the ingredients with fingers. Set the bowl into the fridge while making the muffins. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the 1 cup flour and the following 5 ingredients and set aside.

Mix the bananas and lime juice together and set aside. Beat together the 6 tablespoons butter with the ¼ cup granulated sugar and the ½ cup brown sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the banana mixture. Once well blended, add in the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on low speed for a minute, then add int he sour cream all at once and continue to beat until the mixture has no white streaks left.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tins and rap the tin sharply on the counter to settle the batter. Remove the streusel from the fridge and cut through it with a fork to loosen. Divide the mixture evenly on tops of all the muffins. 

Place the tin in the oven, then immediately lower the oven temperature to 350 and time them for 20 minutes. Once done, allow the muffins to set for about 10 minutes before turning out of tins, at which time, if you have only greased the tin and not lined with papers, the muffins should easily release. 


My passion is teaching people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and passing along my love and joy of food, both simple or exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me also at A Harmony of Flavors on Facebook, and Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.


Disqus